Hello again, friends! I took a brief blogging hiatus this week, but for good reason. We needed to head up north and take care of a few things at our house before spring truly arrives.
Almost three years ago, we were married at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire, Michigan. This is a ski resort by winter and a golf mecca by summer. From the moment you walk into the main lodge you feel like you have found a special place. The lodge gives the vibe of an old ski resort as you enter into the main lobby which then steps right into their dining area. From your table or the bar you look out large windows onto the slopes and beyond that to crystal clear Lake Bellaire which is part of a huge chain of vast, beautiful lakes.
During the winter you can ski and tube down the slopes. And in the summer you can golf, or lounge in the outdoor pool looking out at the ski runs and the lake beyond. If you like the outdoors, you will find plenty to do here.
We chose this location for our wedding because we wanted a place where our friends and family could spend a long weekend and enjoy the wedding festivities without having to get in a car and drive anywhere (which is always at least 30 minutes when in Northwestern Lower Michigan). We loved the hotel options as well as the many condominiums located around the resort. Shanty also has a shuttle system that will take you to all of their various resorts (Schuss Mountain and Cedar River Village) as well as into town. And if you can’t wait for a shuttle, they have a taxi system that costs $2 per ride.
Let me just say that I loved the suite that they gave me for our wedding. It was large and had a lovely sitting area, a huge comfy bed, large bathroom to get ready and a gigantic balcony that overlooked the entire resort and lake. Imagine my surprise when I was searching online and found a March special for $75 per night. Done deal!
We headed to Bellaire, Michigan and met my brother and his wife for dinner in the main dining area. The ski runs had closed for the season the day before and the resort was basically empty. When I found out that my favorite food on their regular menu, the walleye, wasn’t offered that night, I mentioned it to the waitress. She came back and told me that the chef would be happy to make it for me anyway. (Bad blogger, I didn’t take a pic. But I highly recommend this with their wild rice with dried cherries and steamed green beans).
We spent our evenings splashing at the indoor pool and our in-room spa. And we spent our days taking care of homeowner’s details, and of course getting training runs in.
The evening before Christmas Eve a huge wind storm tore through the area. We later found out that our power had been wiped out during that storm and we needed to go check it out. This is what we found.
Our final night ended at our absolute favorite spot. Short’s Brewing Company is an absolute must if you visit anywhere in this area. This place makes some of the best beers and ciders around and their food is just as delicious and thoughtful. We love this place because you can get a fantastic healthy meal while enjoying a flight of their tasty brews. I tried everything from my favorite IPA to a sour beer and even a smoke infused beer. So good!
If you are ever looking for a quick vacation in the Midwest area, I cannot recommend this place enough. The rooms are great, the food is delicious and there are tons of great shopping and tourist destinations nearby. I recommend that if you are doing the Bayshore or Charlevoix Marathons, that you consider a stay here.